Every now and then you get asked the age-old cliché ice breaker of ‘If you could pick one superpower would it be?’ Most people turn to a typical few answers – being invisible, being able to read people’s thoughts, and so on. Even I usually say to fly (typically accompanied by the joke that I’ll save a fortune on travelling, especially around London because it’s never been a cheap endeavour.) However, do you know what one power is underrated? Being able to duplicate/clone yourself. I mean yes, it’s a bit of a scary prospect but for me, that’s outweighed by its various and obvious benefits.
One thing that can be stressful about trying to organise your social calendar is when things conflict – two parties at the same time, someone having a dinner whilst you’re on holiday. Most of the time you equally want to go to both and can imagine you’ll enjoy whichever one you choose which makes it more painful that you can’t be at both places at once. To avoid stress and keep some integrity, my general rule at the moment on such occasions is that I’ll try and honour the first commitment I make. It makes things easier practically but emotionally it can sometimes still be hard to reject something else.
On the other hand, if you could duplicate yourself, imagine the possibilities. Double the experiences and knowledge at all times! One of me could be working full time and my clone could be exploring the world, ticking country after country off my bucket list. Time is such a rare commodity these days, perhaps you could slowly claw some of it back as you strategically use your clones(s) to attend events on your behalf.
I’ll end by bringing this post down to Earth because, of course, I know no one can duplicate themselves (if you can, please comment below and make yourself know😁.) And to some extent, there are benefits behind this limitation – because our time and where we can be at any one time is limited, it makes how we spend it more meaningful. When you go to a friend’s birthday or housewarming do, for example, it makes it more meaningful to know that you could have been anywhere else but decided to not go to those and instead came to support/spend time with you.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
I miss you, yet I see you every day.
Is this how it feels to be so close to someone
yet so far away?
Disclaimer: I write this (as with all my posts) with no malice. In fact, I may sometimes be guilty of this myself so I’ll keep that in mind throughout.
Is it only me or do people find it so hard to be in the moment nowadays? By that I mean just savouring the present moment and appreciating what you’re doing and who you’re with. I can sometimes be with people and see they’re with me but actually quite distant all at once. Distracted by their phone either pinging with messages or simply not strong enough to resist the momentary urge to scroll through social media whilst you are talking. And that can be quite a frustrating state of affairs; firstly because it set a precedent for the whole evening and secondly, it means they may not have heard something that you felt was really important or took a lot of courage to share. In fact, it can be quite rare I find to be with someone I know and just be within a moment where you’re both talking whilst filled with genuine appreciation and joy at being with that particular person. With no one else. Or anywhere else. But there. I have a friend that will always tell me off for being on my phone and insist I put it away when with her. As a true phone addict would, I used to be annoyed at that but after some reflection and observation of my own social situations in the past few months I’ve seen the logic behind what I thought was once madness on her part.
It may not be intentional but being on your phone indicates you’ve only half-heartedly pushed time aside for that person. That you’re physically present but mentally you’re only half present here and God knows where else. The greatest sign of care and love is when you’re sitting opposite each other or walking side by side and you’re friend puts their phone away and looks you square in the eyes and says ‘talk to me’. That’s the cue that says to me (supported by action) that, I’m here for you, I’m listening and I’m all yours. The exclusivity of time is one of the benefits of a relationship and should definitely be taken more seriously. It may feel more intense without your phone there to buffer the awkward moments if they arise but at the end of your time together- whether long or short- you’ll know and love each other that little bit more. Because you’ll be reminded all over again of why you love that person and keep them in your life.
Friendship is a funny thing. Am I the only one that looks down the long hallway that is my past and sees the floating shadows of many former friendships? These are not necessarily friendships that suffered an explosive ending. Most of the time you try to keep in touch but days pass and the next thing you know two years have gone and you’ve barely spoken. I do see these friends every now and then but the conversation is very brief and shallow, almost as if you’re back to acquaintance (or even stranger) level again. After all, people do change- and much quicker than we know sometimes. Although the joyful memories associated with them bring happiness, you almost have to take time to grieve that individual as you realise the intimacy you shared may not ever be experienced again.
But as the old ends, new ones begin and such is the pain and beauty of friendship.
I hate that we don’t talk
as much as we used to.
Will I ever meet some someone like you
I often wonder.
The spontaneous singing
The endless conversations
the laughing, the moments.
Heart to hearts
All in the past.
On the day I should have been writing this post I had been sitting in an Itsu cafe in South London. It was desolate and peaceful. And in my head as I savoured the peace I congratulated myself for finding my little haven in the bustle. Even though I only had half the day off [of work] I really didn’t know what to do. I had piled on my tabletop the various options I had considered; Bible study booklet, current reading book and notebook for creative writing. It’s quite weird having even just a relatively small amount of time on your hands if you’re used to being on the go non-stop. It’s almost like your mind has to (with a lot of effort) tell your body to chill so you properly relax; embrace the moment of stillness.
As I adjusted and became more comfortable I people watched. In the back of my mind, I imagined being in a small and chic Parisian cafe watching busy folk curry across pavements to the sound of sipping coffee.
It was quiet in the shop but a customer sitting by the door inspired this:
He plots world domination
one click at a time.
Liking tweet after tweet
twiddling with his headphones and
smiling out of the window
before swiftly disappearing onto the street,
melting into the crowd.